Olly Murs will be headlining the Party in the Paddock at Newbury Racecourse on 19th August 2017, as part of The Jockey Club Live series this summer. We asked him for a quick chat:

Your new album ’24 Hrs’ is your fourth consecutive number 1 album – that must be a great feeling?

Amazing. I’m very proud of that you know, to have four consecutive number 1 albums is brilliant. I never expected in my wildest dreams that I would’ve got this far so, absolutely delighted that we’ve managed to get four consecutive, like you say, number 1 albums it’s really really amazing so thank you. Amazing.

What do you reckon has been the appeal of your music and yourself to make you the most successful male artist to ever come from the X Factor?

I dunno, I’d like to think that I’ve done some great songs and, think people love what I do… I just don’t give anything, I mean this album’s probably the most heartbreaking, most honest album that I’ve done but I think with previous albums you know I have a lot of fun, my albums are happy and people enjoy listening to them and with this album in particular it’s still happy, still got lots of that vibe on it. It’s just luck you know that people like me and people have bought my albums and I’m very lucky that they do because it doesn’t always happen like that so I’m very very grateful.

You mention this is your most honest album to date, do you feel you are constantly progressing as an artist and songwriter through your albums?

Yeah 50/50 I mean, I did run out of ideas, I wanted to do something different and I felt with this album I just didn’t know where to go next. What I was gonna do? I felt like writing about what’s been actually, genuinely happening was the right thing to do. I’m just really happy that I did this album and the fact that it went to number 1 and people really like it.

At the start of the year I was like ‘what am I gonna write about? What am I gonna do?’ and I’m really happy that I did this honest album, I’ve always been an artist I’m just writing about what I’ve wrote on every album that I’ve done, I wrote most of my hits so this album was just an opportunity to do something different and to keep my fans interested and show them a different side to me and I’m really happy and proud of how well it’s done and I can’t wait for people to hear the second track from the album next year with the other single that we’re gonna release it’s exciting.

Is there a particular track on this album that you’re most proud of you, that you really want people to hear?

I think ’24 Hrs’ and ‘Flaws’ are the two songs on the album that I’m really proud of because for me ’24 Hrs’ the song was something else, a different song that I’ve never done before, production-wise and the feel of the song, but also ‘Flaws’ was, I feel like one of the best songs that I’ve written with the guys that I wrote with. It was really sad but I think you have to listen to the songs really to kinda get the idea of what I mean but I love writing really happy feel-good songs but at the same time I mean it’s nice to show people a different side to me and show some emotion and that’s what this album was about.

You’re undertaking a massive headline arena tour in March, and obviously in the summer you’ve got a huge run of outdoor shows that will see you come to Newbury Racecourse on the 19th August, how do they vary in terms of what you put into them and what you get out of it, from the indoors to the outdoor?

I think it’s fun, it’s really fun being outside and you know the show that we’re doing at Newbury is a different gig for me, I’ve never done anything like this before, I’ve done racecourse gigs before in the past but not this sort of size and I’m really proud to do it and it gives me the chance to go to different places in the UK that I haven’t been before, do different kind of shows, do something slightly different. I can’t wait I mean, what’s better? Go to a racecourse, I can go there during the day I can, have a little flutter on a couple of the races and then do a gig in the evening. Perfect.

How do you go about choosing your set list?

It’s gonna be difficult, you know five albums but you’ve just gotta play the hits and the songs that people know; that’s what I’ll do with the set make it as entertaining as possible. I’ll throw in a few covers there as well, have a bit of a laugh with the fans and it’ll be a really fun day out and I promise any fan that comes along, it’ll be a right laugh from the start of the day to the end of it and I promise to make sure everyone goes home happy having had a good time.

Have you got ay kind of pre-stage ritual that you do before you go on?

Me and the band have a little huddle up before the show and we sing one of our songs, well not a song, a song that we’ve got as a team and we’ve been doing it for the last six/seven years so it’s a bit of a ritual but I’m sure we’ll be sinking a few shots before the show as well just to get into the racecourse spirit.

It must be great being able to get out and play to your fans, essentially in their areas without them having to travel a few hours into a major city?

These are shows you get to see the real people; they are days out, family days at racecourses it’s slightly different you know. Over the years I’ve done loads of different festivals, all these commercial festivals that people go to every year, I just feel like going to a racecourse is so different and people get to see a different vibe, different set, different sound and you get to see different people.

You know, there’s some of these people that come to the racecourse who are people that maybe have never been to a music festival before so, it’s nice that, I just thought it’s refreshing for me to do a gig like this. I mean I’m really looking forward to having a day out with my mates at Newbury Racecourse as well as everyone else and then at the end of it, get up and sing an hour, an hour and a half, two hour show whatever it is and just have some fun and have a great night.

You’re going to Newbury Racecourse, and actually the day that you’re headlining is Ladies’ Day. Could you ever be tempted to be a judge for the best outfit?

(Olly laughs) Yes of course, line the ladies up and I’ll pick the best outfit!

When you go out on tour playing these types of shows, do you get to see much of the locality? Obviously for Newbury for instance, Downton Abbey’s just a couple miles away from the track.

I haven’t been to many racecourses over the last few years as I’ve been so busy but I love the atmosphere, I love the people, you got out there and put a few bets on and the only problem for me on the day of these racecourse gigs is not to be drinking too much! So I’ve had a few little sly beers, the atmosphere at a racecourse is great; it doesn’t get much better in the summer. If you’re a fan of my music or not a fan of my music, it’ll be a fantastic day out and I look forward to putting show on, I’ll make sure everyone goes home happy and have a good day.

Residents come to these events because it’s an opportunity to see an artist like you on their doorstep, there’s always been fantastic reactions at the courses to the music nights.

That’s the great thing about doing these racecourse events it’s about going to different parts of the country, different areas that necessarily other artists might not have been to for a while or for someone like me, I haven’t been to the areas in a long time so it really gives the people of these areas that go to these racecourses a chance to come and see me because they might not come to the arena tours so, it’s good to come and bring the show to them. For me it’s just great to be involved and, like I say I can’t wait to get go out to see all the fans it’s gonna be a great one and I’m sure I’ll have a massive hangover at the end of it but I’ll enjoy it.

Tickets are on sale now and available at www.newburyracecourse.co.uk and by telephone on 01635 40015 during office hours.

Karen can usually be found glued to her computer or at the stables. Having edited several national magazines she co-founded Eclipse Magazine in 2008 after realising that many of her friends were nervous about going racing due to lack of information – what to wear, how to bet etc. She absolutely loves her job (how many people can say that?!) and is truly grateful to all supporters of and contributors to Eclipse Magazine. If you are reading this she would like to say THANK YOU! (And please spread the word about Eclipse...!!)

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